The seed that grows by itself rogation sunday
Mark 4:26-29 J
esus said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.
Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces corn—first the stalk, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
A farmer reflects Lord, you make it sound all very simple “Scatter the seed and then go to bed and sleep.”
No mention of soil analysis, market analysis, subsidy payments analysis. No mention of buying the machinery or hiring the contractor. Then there’s choosing the crop and the variety,
ploughing, rolling, harrowing, enriching the soil with fertilisers, top dressing, weed control, pest control ....
You make no mention of what to do with the field margins, maintaining the hedges, promoting the wildlife,
and jumping through the hoops and filling in the forms to qualify for environmental payments.
No, it’s simply, “Scatter the seed” and then, “All by itself the soil produces corn.”
Then all we have to do is harvest it. No mention of the chance that, despite all your best efforts, you might not make a living.
God Responds You might make a living, but living things you cannot make;
you receive them as a gift, as you also receive the conditions for growth -
warmth, water, nutrients ... and that life force which flows against the energy dissipating tide of the universe.
Humanity can select and modify the species of life;
humanity can, by continual efforts, conform the distribution of the species to serve the food needs of the people of the planet; humanity can organise the rewards for being part of this great enterprise in a way that promotes the values of the society.
So many things humanity can do, humanity has done, but humanity can’t make the life you are born into and born out of. The miracle of life is a continuum from which you can never stand apart and say,
“This is my work.”
But you can co-operate, using the gifts, the warmth, the water, the nutrients,
using the developments the techniques and the technology and you can grow a crop, to feed the hungry and the not so hungry. And when it comes to the harvest you can feel satisfied and thankful. And perhaps it is also possible that a satisfied society can feel thankful too,
thankful enough to worship God the giver of good food and also to reward his earthly agent, the farmer.
Invitation to Peace
The fruit that the Spirit has sown in our hearts is Love, Joy and Peace. The peace of the Lord be always with you....
© Tony Ingleby Rural Officer, Diocese of Truro
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